Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Friday sentenced two drug dealers– Suleiman Mustafa and Wasiu Gafar– to seven years imprisonment for trafficking in 601.1 kg of Indian hemp.
In two separate judgments, Ayo-Emmanuel held that he convicted Mustafa and Gafar based on the evidence before him.
“The quantity of the Indian hemp found on each of the convicts shall have bearing on their sentences.
“If Indian hemp of 559.1 and 42 kg were allowed to go into circulation in the society, the number of lives that would have been negatively affected is better imagined.
”The court has the duty and responsibility to protect the society at large by ensuring that drug traffickers are duly punished.
“Therefore, Mustafa is sentenced to five years in prison and Gafar is sentenced to two years in prison.
“Each of the judgments takes into account the dates each of the convicts was first arrested and detained.
“The weed exhibits found with the convicts are to be destroyed by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA),” the judge said.
Earlier in his plea, Mr Musbau Olapade, the counsel to the convicts, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy by reducing the jail terms of his clients.
Olapade pleaded with the judge to consider the fact that the convicts were their family’s breadwinners and their health conditions were not stable.
Mr Raphael Himinkaiye, counsel to the NDLEA in Oyo State had earlier informed the court that the duo were facing a three-count charge bordering on unlawful dealing and transportation of Indian hemp.
Himinkaiye added that the convicts committed the crime on Nov. 28 .2014, at Iwajowa and Moniya areas of Oyo State respectively.
Shedding more light on the case, the prosecutor said that Mustafa, a truck driver was arrested while conveying 559.1 kg loaded in 56 sacks.
He further stated that Gafar was apprehended while driving a Micra car conveying 42 kg of the illicit drug from Moniya to Iseyin.
Himinkaiye told the court that the offences contravened Section 11 (B) and (C) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation, 2004.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Act prescribes a maximum of life imprisonment for anyone found guilty of each of the offences.